Have you ever felt nothing at all? Just a hum of empty nothingness? I had never felt this way until about a week ago. I had been out on a boat with friends and hit my forehead and nose in an uncoordinated attempt to jump between two boats. I pushed off, my foot slipped, and then next thing I knew there were ten people standing around me staring. I tried to laugh it off to avoid drawing more attention to my embarrassing flail, and then my nose just started bleeding. It was not one of my finer moments, to say the least.
I thought I might have broken my nose and fixated on that idea for the remainder of the evening. It wasn't until the next day that I woke up with a weird fuzzy feeling. I got in the car and drove to coffee. As I was en route, I forgot where I was headed. I was sitting at a red light and I had no idea what in the hell I was doing there. The flashy coffee sign up the road snapped me back to reality.
This strange fog went on for about a week. I went to the doctor to get it checked out and he explained that my brain was just swollen from the concussion. I stared blankly at him and asked him when I would feel normal again. Would I ever feel normal again? He put things into running terms for me. If I strained a hamstring, I wouldn't run on it. Time off my feet would heal the strain. When you "break" your brain, you should try not to think. Try not to think? If I really wanted to rush the recovery process, I should try not to…
- listen to music
- read anything
- stress out
- talk to people
- stare at a screen
- sit in the sun
- drink alcohol
- basically do anything at all...
It was one of the first times ever, that I couldn't escape from a problem in any way. I just had to go through it. Usually when something bothers me I find a way to quick-fix-it.
Have a bad day?
Go for a run… Have a glass of wine….Have another glass of wine….
Those things can be nice, but they can also be little scapegoats. They don't always force you to face the real things that might be going on.
On day five of having fuzzy brain, I drove down to my favorite spot in Seattle to not think. But I couldn't stop thinking about this one pestering little idea. Why do I always try to skirt around things? There have been times I've tried to eat away, or not eat away, drink away, run away something instead of just feeling it. Going through it. I can't pinpoint a specific something or problem, but I just recognized that numbing and "going around it" are definitely things that I do. It's something we learn to do in our society. And it inhibits the healing process. It allows little problems to grow bigger or linger around longer than needed.
In my week of recovery and trying not to think, I did come to this one thought: Go Through It.
I wrote it on my wrist. I wrote it on a note card at my desk, and I wrote it on my bedroom door. And I'm realizing the power of this one little phrase in life's daily stresses, big and small. I'm going to keep in it my mind as the cloudy, fuzzy feeling continues to fade away. I'm going to try my best to keeping going through it, instead of around it.